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10+ Celebrities Who Are Incredibly Intelligent

Hollywood is filled with incredibly smart and intelligent people. In fact, some of our favorite celebrities have equally intimidating academic prowess as they do acting chops.

While some are well-known and tend to flaunt it, others remain humble about their intelligence. Get ready to strap on your thinking cap and check out these 10+ celebs who are actually incredibly intelligent.

Mayim Bialik.

Instagram | @missmayim

Mayim Bialik doesn't just play a scientiest on TV - she's the real deal! The hilarious star of The Big Bang Theory (and Blossom!) received a PhD in the field of Neuroscience.

I guess Amy really was smarter than Sheldon all along!

Emma Watson.

It makes sense that Hogwart's cleverest witch would be played by Hollywood's cleverest young actress. Emma's list of academic credentials is daunting.

She has a B.A. from Brown, she went to Grad School at Oxford, and Emma was even appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

John Legend.

Instagram | @johnlegend

Before John Legend became one of the most recognizable voices in music, he was working as a consultant. The singer also was fielding scholarship offers from Harvard, Georgetown, as well as Morehouse.

John eventually settled on The University of Pennsylvania.

Cindy Crawford.

Cindy Crawford is a heck of a lot more than just a pretty face.

The supermodel is also a huge science nerd at heart! Cindy was Valedictorian of her high school and she attended North Western University on an Academic Scholarship.

Lisa Kudrow.

Instagram | @lisakudrow

Don't be fooled by Lisa's carefree manner and aloof nature. She's one smart cookie.

While Lisa was filming the first season of Friends, she also published a paper in an Academic Journal on the topic of headaches.

Matt Damon.

Matt Damon may not be as smart as Will Hunting - but he isn't that far off. He wrote the first draft for the film while still attending Harvard.

Damon dropped out, but was eventually awarded the Harvard Arts Medal in 2013.

John Krasinski.

Instagram | @johnkrasinski

John Krasinski was a true Renaissance Man while attending Brown University.

The former star of The Office spent a semester teaching English abroad. His favorite subjects included the Management of Industrial and Nonprofit Organisations, as well as Biology.

Alicia Keys.

Alicia Keys is a classically trained pianist who first began taking lessons at the tender age of seven. By the time Alicia was sixteen, she was already enrolled and attending Columbia University.

Alicia dropped out to pursue her music career.

James Franco.

James Franco is an eccentric genius. The actor has more post-secondary accolades hanging on his wall than all of Hollywood combined.

Franco has a total of seven degrees from schools that include UCLA, NYU, as well as Columbia University.

Ashton Kutcher.

Ashton Kutcher was originally going to study Engineering at either MIT or Purdue University until a high school prank changed everything.

Kutcher lost his scholarships and ended up studying at the University of Iowa. Today, Kutcher is one of the most intelligent investors out there.

Rashida Jones.

Instagram | @rashidajones

Rashida Jones originally enrolled at Harvard in the hopes of one day becoming a lawyer. She ended up studying Comparative Religion and joined the theater group on campus.

She was also the musical director of the co-ed acapella group.

Jake Gyllenhaal.

Jake was eager to follow in the footsteps of his mother and older sister, Maggie. Just like them, he also attended Columbia University.

Due to the incredible success of October Sky, Jake eventually dropped out to pursue his career in acting.

Ken Jeong.

Ken Jeong is a licensed Obstetrician in real-life. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ken said:

"It’s a guaranteed, stable profession. And you’re doing good, and you’re helping people. There were so many factors in play at that time that medicine was just more appealing.”

Natalie Portman.

Instagram | @natalieportman

Natalie Portman is not a woman to be trifled with. She's a Harvard graduate with a degree in Psychology.

What's even more impressive is that Natalie took no time off from her career in order to complete her degree.

Conan O'Brien.

Instagram | @teamcoco

The king of late-night TV has a lot of brains under all the hair. Not only did Conan attend Harvard University, but he also graduated Magna Cum Laude!

His thesis was titled "Literary Progeria in the Works of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor."

Allison Williams.

Instagram | @aw

Before she became a star on Girls, Allison attended Yale University where she studied both English and Architecture:

"I found them to be a lot of, like, lying on the ground thinking about things," Allison said in an interview.

Mindy Kaling.

Mindy Kaling is both incredibly hilarious and extremely intelligent. She went to Dartmouth where she studied Latin and received a degree in playwriting.

Not only has Mindy created and starred in her own show, but she's also a published author.

Edward Norton.

Before becoming one of the most well-respected actors on the planet, Edward Norton studied History at Yale. He also rowed Crew and spent time living in Japan working for his father's consulting firm.

While there, he studied Aikido and learned to speak Japanese.

Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Brains are in full-supply in the Gyllenhaal house. Maggie, like her younger brother Jake, has equally impressive academic credits to her name.

Maggie says that her time at Columbia taught her to acknowledge that "I really know nothing."

David Duchovny.

Before David Duchovny broke into the acting world, he got his BA from Princeton in English Literature.

David also went on to receive a Master's Degree from Yale for the same subject but dropped out before he could complete his Ph.D.

Jordana Brewster.

Instagram | @jordanabrewster

After the early success of The Fast and the Furious, Jordana left Hollywood to attend Yale University.

“I was so stressed about getting good grades that I was a nerd. I wish I had joined a sorority and had more fun.”

Kate Beckinsale.

Instagram | @katebeckinsale

Kate Beckinsale is a lover of languages. She did her studies at the prestigious Oxford University, where she majored in both French and Russian Literature.

Kate is fluent in French and even speaks a little German as well.

Geena Davis.

There's no crying in baseball or in MENSA!

Geena has been a member of the High IQ Society for years. She's also the founder of the Geena Davis Institute, designed to help end gender bias in mainstream media.

Eva Longoria.

So side note: Eva Longoria looks incredible. I'm re-watching Desperate Housewives (don't judge me) and she seriously hasn't changed in nearly 15 years!

As well as being beautiful, Eva has a Master's Degree in Chicano Studies from Cal State Northridge.

Nolan Gould.

Instagram | @nolangould

He might play a dummy on TV, but Nolan Gould is one seriously smart cookie. The young actor is actually a certified genius and a member of MENSA.

Nolan's IQ is reportedly over the 150-mark, which would put him in the company of Albert Einstein among others.

Jodie Foster.

Jodie Foster was reading on her own by the age of 3. She attended Yale University to study literature and wrote her Senior Thesis on African American women writers:

"I'm fascinated by them because they write about experiences that are both different from other women's and the same."

Elizabeth Banks.

Instagram | @elizabethbanks

Before Elizabeth Banks ventured into the acting world, she studied Communications and Theater Arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Elizabeth performed so well, that she even graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Way to rise to the top, Elizabeth!

Kara Hayward.

Instagram | @thekarahayward

You'll probably remember Kara best from her work in Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. The young actress has been a member of MENSA since she was only nine years old: more than half her life.

Kara is also a published poet.


Instagram | @iiswhoiis

Growing up, Kesha was incredibly dedicated to her studies:

"I was in the international baccalaureate program, I loved physics and math, and I was in the marching band."

The singer also claims to have nearly aced her SAT scores in high school.

Steve Martin.

Steve Martin is one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived. Like several other celebs on this list, he too is a member of MENSA.

Steve wrote a piece for the New Yorker detailing his entry process, which took over a year to complete.

Shaquille O'Neal.

The doctor is in!

Shaq will be the first one to tell you that as well as being an NBA Champion/Finals MVP, he also has a Ph.D. in Education.

He rose to the top of his class and finished with a 3.8-grade point average.